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BARD COLLEGE TO HOLD ONE HUNDRED FORTY-FIRST COMMENCEMENT ON SATURDAY, MAY 26, 2001 Nobel Laureate and Former National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Harold Varmus to Deliver Commencement Address. Photographer Lee Friedlander and Playwright John Gua

Mark Primoff

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-Bard College will hold its one hundred forty-first commencement on Saturday, May 26. At the commencement ceremony, Bard President Leon Botstein will confer 249 undergraduate degrees to the Class of 2001, and 42 graduate degrees: 22 master of fine arts, 11 master of arts in the history of the decorative arts, eight master of arts in curatorial studies, and one master of science in environmental studies. The program, which begins at 2:30 p.m. on Bard's Main Lawn, will also include the bestowing of honorary doctorates.

The commencement address will be given by Nobel Laureate Dr. Harold E. Varmus, president and chief executive officer of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and former director of the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Varmus will receive an honorary doctor of science degree. Honorary degrees will also be awarded to Gordon J. Davis, president of Lincoln Center; photographer Lee Friedlander; Adrienne Germain, president, International Women's Health Coalition; playwright John Guare; Joseph E. Stiglitz, Stanford University professor and former World Bank chief economist; and Margot Stern Strom, executive director, president, and founder of Facing History and Ourselves National Foundation.

Other events taking place during commencement weekend include class reunions; a concert by Bard student soloists and composers with the American Symphony Orchestra, Leon Botstein, conductor; and the granting of Bard College Awards for the year 2001. The Bard Medal will be presented to Stuart Stritzler-Levine; the John and Samuel Bard Award in Medicine and Science to Laszlo Z. Bito '60; the Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters to Anne Bogart '74; the John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service to Earl Shorris and Kenneth S. Stern '75; the Mary McCarthy Award to Janet Malcolm; and the Bardian Award to Robert Rockman.

Shorris was awarded a National Humanities Medal in 2000 by President Clinton for his work in creating the Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities, which was established in 1995 to improve the lives of low-income individuals by providing them with free college-level instruction in the humanities. He has been a contributing editor to Harper's Magazine since 1972. His novels include Under the Fifth Sun: A Novel of Pancho Villa and In the Yucatan. His nonfiction works include Riches for the Poor: The Clemente Course in the Humanities, A Nation of Salesmen: The Tyranny of the Market and the Subversion of Culture, and Latinos: A Biography of the People.

Stritzler-Levine has been with Bard as a professor of psychology since 1964 and as dean of the college for the past 21 years.


Dr. Harold E. Varmus is the president and chief executive officer of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He is the former director of the National Institutes of Health and corecipient of the 1989 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for studies of the genetic basis of cancer.

In 1993, when President Clinton named him director of the NIH-the largest biomedical research institute in the world-Dr. Varmus was a celebrated cancer researcher with little political or administrative experience. During his six-year tenure at the NIH, Dr. Varmus became a highly effective advocate for biomedical and basic research, the NIH budget grew from $10 billion to nearly $18 billion, and many leading researchers took top positions at the agency.

As a research scientist, Dr. Varmus spent 23 years as a faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco, where his work on cancer-causing genes, in collaboration with Dr. J. Michael Bishop, revolutionized cancer research. They shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1989.

Born in Freeport, New York, Dr. Varmus earned a B.A. from Amherst College in 1961 and an M.A. in English literature from Harvard University in 1962. After earning his M.D. from Columbia University in 1966, he trained at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital. He did his early scientific training as a Public Health Service officer at the NIH and then as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco.

In addition to authoring more than three hundred scientific papers and four books, Varmus serves on the World Health Organization's Commission on Macroeconomics and Health and a National Research Council panel on genetically modified organisms. He has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1984 and of the Institute of Medicine since 1991.

In addition to receiving the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, Dr. Varmus is the recipient of the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the Passano Foundation Award, the Armand Hammer Cancer Prize, the Alfred P. Sloan Prize, the Simon M. Shubitz Cancer Prize, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Joseph Mather Smith Award, the American College of Physicians Award, and the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

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This event was last updated on 05-10-2001